UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, yesterday announced the appointment of American award-winning actor Anne Hathaway as its global Goodwill Ambassador.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said the appointment of Anne is timely because this year, UN Women is driving hard to foster more positive mindsets and practical arrangements around workplaces that build and support equality for women. She also said:

“The ‘motherhood penalty’ which means that when they become mothers, women’s pay and opportunities at work suffer—is a particularly insidious demonstration of gender inequality in the workplace. For too long it has been difficult or impossible to view raising a child as being truly an equal responsibility for both.”

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UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director,Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
Ms. Anne Hathaway

Ms. Hathaway, a long-standing supporter of women’s and girls’ rights, will put the spotlight on the issue of the unequal burden of care work in the home as one of the key barriers to gender equality, working internationally to advance the adoption and implementation of policies that will bring measurable change. These include affordable childcare services and shared parental leave at both government and corporate levels.

When it comes to equality, Ms. Hathaway is a committed voice for change. She previously served as an advocate for Nike Foundation and travelled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness on child marriage. In 2013, she also provided the narration on ‘Girl Rising,’ a CNN documentary film, which focused on the power of female education as it followed seven girls around the world who sought to overcome obstacles and follow their dreams.

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Speaking after the appointment, Ms Hathaway said: “I feel honoured and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality. Significant progress has already been made but it is time that we collectively intensify our efforts and ensure that true equality is finally realized.”

The Oscar-winning actress will be joining Nicole Kidman and Emma Watson as the latest celebrity to team up with the UN Women.


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